Noto Shika Korogaki: Delectable Dried Persimmons from Ishikawa Prefecture

Guide to Japan Food and Drink

Early every November, residents of Shika, a farming community on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, start working to prepare dried persimmons. The sight of the bright orange fruit hanging like window curtains in local homes is a reminder that winter is approaching. They are called korogaki in Japanese; -gaki is from kaki (persimmon), and koro is short for korokoro, an onomatopoetic word for rolling or rotating. The name alludes to the way growers spin the fruit as they knead it to soften the pulp. This is part of the traditional labor-intensive process that is maintained for the production of korogaki.

The most astringent variety of persimmons is used to make korogaki. The combination of sunlight and breezes from the sea removes the astringency and brings out the sweetness of the fruit. And the resulting product is a delectable treat of a soft brown color.

The Shika agricultural cooperative has branded this dried fruit “Noto Shika Korogaki,” and in 2016 the national government designated this local brand for official protection under its Geographical Indication system. Shika is known for the towering cliffs of the Noto Kongō Coast, but its korogaki are also establishing themselves as part of the community’s appeal.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Kanazawa Cable Television.)

Ishikawa food Hokuriku fruit Noto Peninsula